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Subject: A Tale of Six CIties rss

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Rob Olsson
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While we were in Essen, VuduJoie picked up this game for ten Euros. He had pulled it out on the table over the weekend, so was eager to get it on the table at lunch. Always keen to play the Spiel de Jahre games, Malloc and I were game.

Manhattan is an oddly named game (as I am sure many others have noted) since you are adding buildings to six cities on the board and scoring for how many buildings you have in each town of nine boxes. With three players, we would place four building levels each round, each one varying in level between one and four floors for six rounds. My color orange dropped first when we were deciding the first player, so I got to place first.

The first round was pretty non-combative as we set ourselves up around the six cities. I was fortunate to have two of the same placement cards, so I caught tallest building on the first round. I also had more buildings in two of the six cities, so when the points were added up, I was leading in the first round. Always a mistake.

The tallest building quickly shifted as Malloc dropped a four story piece in the next city over and VuduJoie topped it with one of his own. Vudu also slipped in to take control of three cities, catapulting him to the lead in the very next round. Malloc took second and I quickly slipped to third.

Over the next three turns, we traded city control and built up the number of buildings until we were more or less even on the board. Turn six brought me to a point where I could seize control of a city from Malloc or potentially tie VuduJoie in another city. In the end, I went to take control of the city for a guaranteed two points as opposed to preventing VuduJoie from getting two points. As a result, VuduJoie won instead of Malloc. Unfortunately at that point, I was out of it no matter which way I went.

Why? Good question. After all, we should all be able to win the games at all times, right? :-) I think my failing was focusing too much on getting the tallest building over not placing more buildings to get individual points or to control cities for two points throughout the six turns. In turn one I got off to an amazingly good start, but I should have leveraged that by encouraging the other two to go for the tall building.

Lesson learned for next time.
 
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Chuck Carroll
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This is one of my favorite "filler" games--our group plays it quite a bit. I usually try to stay out of the "tallest tower" fights, as I don't think they offer a good return on investment.

Quote:
Manhattan is an oddly named game (as I am sure many others have noted) since you are adding buildings to six cities on the board


In the Mayfair edition of the game, the six regions are called "neighborhoods" and are named for actual neighborhoods in Manhattan, so it makes more sense there.
 
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Rob Olsson
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Thanks for helping me understand that.

I agree it is a fun game and I look forward to the next time it comes out on the table.
 
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Bruce Bridges
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You have to try the baby Godzilla variant. It makes the game so much more fun and allows more tactical options. Playing the normal game is so dry, I don't think anybody in my group would enjoy it.
 
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Rob Olsson
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VuduJoie had mentioned a Godzilla variant when we played and it sounds awesome! I look forward to trying that on our next time out.
 
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Paul Harrington
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raolsson wrote:
I was fortunate to have two of the same placement cards, so I caught tallest building on the first round.


You would have been more fortunate if you had used those two placement cards to create buildings in two different blocks, as it would be difficult for opponents to cover both of them. You would have made a play for 6 extra points (1 for each round for the second building) instead of 3 extra points (for tallest.)

In my experience, it is almost always a mistake to make your own building taller. (It is possible that a baby Godzilla makes this statement false; but BSW has no such animal.) Most games are won by the single points for each building and the double points that come from having more buildings in a block. Note that even when an extra building does not give you a block bonus, it may prevent an opponent from getting one. Covering your own building robs you of an opportunity to have another building on the board.
 
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Rob Olsson
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Unfortunately, I had the experience in a game last night to find out the truth in this statement. The tallest building does look to be a target, where a number of small buildings that claim territory build up a lot more points faster.

 
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